Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Psalm 87 – Citizens of the City of God

“Glorious things are spoken of you,

O city of God.

Selah

~Psalm 87:3 (NRSV).

Heaven, the literal place, is captivating to Christian and non-Christian alike, but perhaps more so in thought terms to the Christian. It is their destiny, for they care for it and wish one day to reach there.

Our Spiritual Home

The afterlife reality will be stupendously unreal, or at least it’ll be at terms we’re completely not used to.

But Zion is not just about heaven; that place to house our eternal souls. It is a place of God’s inimitable Presence. “The city of God is the spiritual home for people who live in all the nations.”[1]

The concept of Mount Zion is that we, as its re-born citizens, belong to it.

People will recognise us—those also born into the “nations”—as born of Zion, a special place sacrosanct from gross impurity. Not that we’re beyond stain or blemish; it’s perhaps just not of required differentiation. Some are born of heaven, and yet all can be re-born of heaven just the same, and this is God’s salacious desire.

Despite the Dispersion We Are Being Drawn to God

In Jesus’ time, and prior to—for several centuries, there was the Dispersion, or the Diaspora—the ethnic cleansing of the Jews spread to all corners of that world then.

Despite this reality—that we all are spread far geographically—Zion has found us.

God is drawing us even now and how beautiful it is that we cannot escape the Father’s attention. Despite being flung far and wide, and having no knowledge of those encamped with us so very often, God is drawing us to the heart of the Divine... yes, even now.

This is one citizenship we cannot deny. It is futile for people to struggle against it in either life or death.

The Magnificence of the Kingdom Idea

Immanuel: God with us. This is a reality for one reason. It is purposed in bringing every human being under the Lordship of Christ.

This is the idea sheltered in this psalm. We’re to be known via our re-birth as Kingdom fledglings, pledged to the allegiance of One and one only.

The vision of the Church is the encapsulation via “federation” of all nations, and of every soul living and dead. The idea of Zion is consummation in God.

This eighty-seventh psalm is finally about the thrill of holy though implicit identification with God. It is something we were entirely born for.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Acknowledgement: W. Graham Scroggie, A Guide to the Psalms – A Comprehensive Analysis of the Psalms – Vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1995), p. 216-18.




[1] James L. Mays, Psalms – Interpretation Series (Louisville, Kentucky: John Knox Press, 1994), pp. 280-81.

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